TRR 181 – Energy Transfers in Atmosphere and Ocean

Investigating the Atmosphere and Ocean is a complex task that needs a combined effort of different scientific fields. Here you find information on our goal and the collaborating partners. Furthermore, we present the goals regarding gender equality and early career support.

Energy does not "vanish"

Scientific approach

The energy of a closed system is steady. It is not lost but rather converted into other forms, such as when kinetic energy is transferred into thermal energy or vice versa heat results in a force.

However, this fundamental principle of natural science is often still a problem for climate research. For example, in case of the calculation of ocean currents, where small-scale vortices as well as mixing processes they induce need to be considered, without fully understanding where the energy for their creation originates from. This is similar in the atmosphere, the only difference being that air is moving instead of water. Again, local turbulences can drive larger movements or vice versa waves on a larger scale can disintegrate into small structures. All these processes are important for the Earth’s climate and determine how temperatures will rise in the future.

How exactly the energy transfer between waves, eddies and local turbulences in the ocean and the atmosphere works, often remains unclear. The interdisciplinary project „Energy Transfers in Ocean and Atmosphere“ wants to change this: oceanographers, meteorologists and mathematicians from Hamburg, Bremen, Rostock and Frankfurt work closely together to achieve this goal (see participating institutions). The aim is to develop energetically consistent mathematical models and thus enhance climate analyzes and forecast accuracy.


The project is a Collaborative Research Centre and funded by the German Research Foundation. Almost 70 scientists work together on the overall topic „Energy Transfers in Ocean and Atmosphere“. The TRR 181 has a board ("Vorstand") with representatives of all institutions and career levels. The Vorstand meets regularly to discuss the steering of the interdisciplinary project.

Speaker of the TRR 181 is Prof. Carsten Eden (Universität Hamburg), deputy speaker Prof. Monika Rhein (University of Bremen).

You find below a picture overview of all Vorstand members, Vorstand guests and the project coordinators of the TRR 181:

Below you find an organization chart of the research areas of the TRR 181 and its subprojects (please click on the graphic to enlarge):

Project Members

Achatz, UlrichW1, S2Project LeaderGU
Bachmayer, RalfW5Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Bagaeva, EkaterinaM3PhDCU
Banerjee, TridibM5PhDAWI-CU
Bäurich, PaulaCoordinationStudent AssistantUHH-CEN
Behrens, JörnM2Project LeaderUHH-CEN
Brecht, RüdigerM2PostdocUHH
Bracamontes Ramírez, JoelAssocd. MembersPhDUHB-MARUM
Brüggemann, NilsT2, L4, S2Project LeaderMPI-M
Buckley, MarcT4Project LeaderHereon
Burchard, HansS1Project LeaderIOW
Carpenter, JeffT2Project LeaderHereon
Chouksey, Manita  W2Project LeaderIOW
Chrysagi, EvridikiAssocd. MembersPostdocIOW
Czeschel, LarsT2, T4Project LeaderUHH-CEN
Danilov, SergeyM5, S2Project LeaderAWI-CU
Dettling, NicolasT3PhDAWI-UHB
Dettmer, JanAssocd. MembersPhDUHH
Diederichsen, LeaRTG, CoordinationCoordinatorUHH-CEN
Dräger-Dietel, JuliaL3PostdocUHH-CEN
Eden, CarstenW1, W6, S2, RTG, OProject LeaderUHH-CEN
Epke, MoritzL4PhDUHH-CEN
Eyring, VeronikaS1Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Fandrich, JenniferO, CoordinationCoordinatorUHH-CEN
Gabsi, MouhannedM2PhDUHH-CEN
Garcia Santacruz, DinoraW4PhDUHB-MARUM
Gasser, IngenuinM1Project LeaderUHH-C3S
Gholampour, FaranakM5PostdocUHH-C3S
Griesel, AlexaL3Project LeaderUHH-CEN
Gutjahr, OliverAssocd. MembersPostdocMPI-M
Henell, ErikaM5PhDIOW
Hohenegger, CathyL4Project LeaderMPI-M
Holube, KatharinaAssocd. MembersPhDUHH
Iske, ArminM5Project LeaderUHH-C3S
Jung, ThomasS1Project LeaderAWI-UHB-MARUM
Jungclaus, JohannS2Project LeaderMPI-M
Juricke, StephanM3, L4Project LeaderGEOMAR
Kanzow, TorstenT3Project LeaderAWI-UHB
Karmouche, SoufianeS1PostdocUHB-MARUM
Kattamuri, SivaL5PhDUHB-MARUM
Klingbeil, KnutM5Project LeaderIOW
Koldunov, NikolayS1PostdocAWI-MARUM
Korn, PeterS2Project LeaderMPI-M
Kourkouraidou, ZoiW2PhDMPI-M
Kunz, LucaL3ScientistUHH
Kutsenko, AntonM3PostdocKU
Leimann, IlmarL3, W5PhDUHB-MARUM
Loft, MalteT4PhDTUHH
Lorenz, MarvinS1PostdocIOW
Losch, MartinT3Project LeaderAWI
Lu, Bing-YingAssocd. MembersPostdocUHB-MARUM
Lübken, Franz-JosefW1Project LeaderIAP
Mahó, SándorW6PhDUHH-CEN
Malles, Jan-HendrikS1PostdocUHB-MARUM
Mertens, ChristianW4Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Miracca Lage, Mariana L2PhDHereon
Mossad, MohamedW1PhDIAP
Neduhal, ValentinoL2PhDUHH-CEN
Noethen, FlorianM1PostdocUHH-C3S
Oelerich, RiaW5PostdocUHB-MARUM
Olbers, DirkW2, W4, W6Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Oliver, MarcelM3, L2Project LeaderKU, CU
Ovsyannikov, IvanAssocd. MembersPostdocCU
Patel, AnkitkumarW4PhDUHH-CEN
Paul, AndréL5Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Pein, JoshuaT2PhDUHH-CEN
Pilatin, HevesL5PhDUHB-MARUM
Pinner, OleT3PhDAWI-UHB
Pollmann, FriederikeT3, W4, RTGProject LeaderUHH-CEN
Quinn, BrendaW1, S2PostdocUHH-CEN
Rademacher, JensM1, M2, M7, RTGProject LeaderUHH
Reinert, MarkusAssocd. MembersPhDIOW
Rhein, MonikaW2Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Rosenau, Silvano S2ScientistUHH
Rung, ThomasT4Project LeaderTUHH
Schaefer-Rolffs, UrsM3, W1 (Postdoc)Project LeaderIAP
Schmitt, MiraL4PhDIOW
Scholz, PatrickS2PostdocAWI
Schulz, MichaelL5Project LeaderUHB-MARUM
Sebastia Saez, PabloW6PhDUHH
von Storch, Jin-SongW2, L2Project LeaderMPI-M, UHH
Tenhaus, JaninaT4PhDHereon
Tiofack Kenfack, MarcL2PhDCU, KU
Tondu, CamilleAssocd. MembersPhDHereon
Umlauf, LarsL4Project LeaderIOW
Vasylkevych, SergiyAssocd. MembersPostdocUHH
Veeravalli, Vijaya Esther Assocd. MembersPhDHereon
Voelker, Georg SebastianW1, S2PostdocGU
Vorhoff, ColjaO, CoordinationStudent AssistantUHH-CEN
Walter, MarenW5, L3, RTGProject LeaderUHB-MARUM
Wang, ChenAssocd. MembersPhDUHH
Welter, RolandM7PostdocUHH-C3S
Žagar, NedjeljkaW6, L2, S1, RTG, OProject LeaderUHH-CEN
Zhao, Yuan-BingS1PostdocUHH-CEN

Previous Project Members (Phase 2)

Dennert, PeterW2PhDUHB-MARUM
Eriksen, ThomasW6PhDUHH-CEN
Franzke, ChristianM2PostdocCU
Galytska, EvgeniaS1PostdocUHB
Gassmann, AlmutM3Project LeaderIAP
Hertwig, EileenL2PostdocMPI-M
Köhler, JannaW2, W4, RTGProject LeaderUHB-MARUM
Löb, JonasW2PostdocUHB-MARUM
Lüschow, VeitW2PostdocMPI-M
Meethale Puthukkottu, SubeeshW2PostdocUHB-MARUM
Nobili, CamillaM7Project LeaderUHH-C3S
North, RyanT3PostdocUHH-CEN
Reifenberg, SimonL3, W5PhDUHB-MARUM
Shevchenko, RadomyraL4PostdocMPI-M
Streffing, JanL4PhDCU
Unterberger, MaximilianW5PhDUHB-MARUM
Weigel, KatjaS1PostdocUHB

AWI  —  Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven
Hereon  —  Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

IAP  —  Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Rostock University
IOW  —  Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde
CU  —  Constructor University, Bremen 
GU  —  Goethe University Frankfurt
KU  — 
 Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
MPI-M  —  Max Planck Institute for Meterology Hamburg
TUHH  —  Hamburg University of Technology

UHH-C3S  —  Lothar Collatz Center for Computing in Science
UHH-CEN  —  Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Universität Hamburg
UHB-MARUM  —  Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen

Participating Institutions

The main applicant parties are Universität Hamburg and Universität Bremen. Special expertise is provided by the Jacobs University, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven as well as by two research institutes at Universität Rostock: the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde and the Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Kühlungsborn. In the second phase of the project the two univsersities of Technische Universität Hamburg and Goethe-Universität Frankfurt joined the research collaboration.

Universität Hamburg

Universität Hamburg is the largest institution for research and education in the north of Germany. As one of the country's largest universities, it offers a diverse course spectrum and excellent research opportunities.

The University boasts numerous interdisciplinary projects in a broad range of subjects and an extensive partner network with leading institutions on a regional, national and international scale.


The Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) is a central research center at Universität Hamburg and part of the local network KlimaCampus Hamburg.

Members include oceanographers, meteorologists, marine biologists, geophysicists, geologists, soil scientists, geographers, biogeochemists, economists, social scientists, historians, as well as peace and security researchers, all of whom are actively engaged in climate, environmental, and earth system research. CEN therefore links the natural and social sciences—in research, research-driven education and support for young researchers. The goal is to work together to address overarching scientific issues.

CEN promotes the development and implementation of research projects and supports its members in the acquisition of external funding. The Center provides a forum aimed at educating both academia and the public about the challenges and findings of earth system research.

Participating in this project are the Institute of Oceanography, the Meteorological Institute and the Lothar Collatz Center for Computing in Science.

University of Bremen

Roughly 23,000 people are currently active as students, teachers, researchers, or employees of the University of Bremen. It has become one of Germany`s eleven top universities of excellence. It is the science center of Northern Germany, renowned for its strengths in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the humanities and the social sciences. The exceptional quality of research in Bremen is due, among other things, to the university’s close collaboration with numerous independent research institutes, both on campus and around the region. Their competence and vitality have attracted more than four hundred research and business ventures to the technology park around campus, creating a nationally recognized hub of high technology.


Research at MARUM has the overarching goal to achieve a better understanding of key processes in the marine environment in order to provide information for sustainable use of the ocean. The research themes are: Ocean and Climate, Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions and Seafloor Dynamics. MARUM studies past and present environmental changes from the coast to the deep sea at a global scale. Processes at and below the seafloor are a special research focus. The second major goal of MARUM is the training of young scientists. Within the framework of the Graduate School GLOMAR (Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences) interdisciplinary training of doctoral students in marine sciences (incl. social sciences and law) is achieved. A third goal is to develop and provide technology and infrastructure for marine research in cooperation with industry. MARUM operates underwater technologies, including two remotely operated vehicles, an underwater drill rig and an autonomous underwater vehicle. MARUM also operates one of the three IODP core repositories in the world and, together with the AWI, the World Data Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (PANGAEA). The fourth goal is the communication of scientific topics to the general public, including special programs for schools.

Participating in this project are the Institute of Environmental Physics and the "Dynamical systems and geometry" group of the mathematics department at Universität Bremen.

Constructor University

Constructor University is a private, English-language campus university with the highest standards in research and teaching. Young people from around the globe become citizens of the world with leadership qualities at Jacobs University in Bremen.

Participating in this project is the applied analysis group.

Goethe University Frankfurt

The Goethe University Frankfurt is a public university in Germany's fifth-most populous metropole of Frankfurt am Main in the State of Hesse and was founded in 1914 as a civic institution. The university currently has more than 45,000 students, distributed across four major campuses within the city.

Having a tradtionally strong focus on research, the university is affiliated with 20 Nobel Prize winners and 18 winners of the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. Besides its 16 faculties, there are three Max Planck research insitutions co-located at the Goethe University Frankfurt.
Alongside the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Technische Universität Darmstadt, the Goethe University Frankfurt makes up the Rein-Main-Universities (RMU), an internationally visible academic network and part of the IT cluster Rhine-Main-Neckar. Being the largest IT Cluster in Europe and one of the most important locations of the IT and high-tech industry worldwide, it is also known as the Silicon Valley of Germany, thus providing excellent conditions for research, studying and innovation.

Hamburg University of Technology

The Hamburg University of Technology is among Hamburg's most important universites. Since its foundation in 1978, the focus of the university's mission statement has been the development of technology for people. The TUHH is a compact technical university with a clear profile in research and innovative learning methods by the mergence of theory and practice and project-based learning. Being a competitive entrepreneurial, though at the same time research-oriented university with a strong international orientation, the university brings together technological cutting-edge research, application-oriented education and entrepreneurship.

Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

The Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU) is a modern university with a tradition that goes back several centuries. The university offers almost 70 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, making it one of the largest non-state universities in Germany. At KU, subject knowledge and social competence are taught on the foundation of Christian values. It is the only Catholic university in Germany; its sponsor is a church foundation. The university stands for excellent teaching, strong research and responsible action in society. Research at KU is diverse and reflects a wide range of research topics and subject areas.

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Scientists at the MPI-M investigate what determines the sensitivity of the Earth system to perturbations such as the changing composition of its atmosphere, and work toward establishing the sources and limits of predictability within the Earth system. For that purpose MPI-M develops and analyses sophisticated models of the Earth system. Targeted in-situ measurements and satellite observations complement the model simulations.

Participating in this project are the groups "Atmosphere in the Earth System" and "Ocean in the Earth System".

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde

The Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde, IOW) was founded in 1992 on the recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities. It succeeded the Institute for Oceanography, Warnemünde, which was the premiere oceanographic research institute of the German Democratic Republic's German Academy of Sciences. Today, the institute is a member of the Leibniz Association (Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, WGL). The institute's facilities are financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ministry of Education. IOW's research program focuses on coastal oceans and marginal seas, with a particular emphasis on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea.

Participating in this project is the "Coastal Ocean Physical Process Studies" group.

Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics

The Institute has been founded in 1992 and is member of the research association 'Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (WGL)'. The institute is located near the Baltic Sea resort Kühlungsborn and owns a separate site on the island Rügen, close to Juliusruh. In addition IAP is a major partner of the ALOMAR observatory in northern Norway. As associated institute of the University Rostock it is part of the teaching programme in physics. A total of about 90 persons is employed at IAP.

The Leibniz-Institute is one of the German main centers for Middle Atmosphere research and operates active cooperations with several international research organizations.

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research

As an internationally respected centre of expertise on polar and marine research, the Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the very few scientific institutions in the world that are equally active in the Arctic and Antarctic. It coordinates German polar research efforts, while also conducting research in the North Sea and adjacent coastal regions in Germany. Combining innovative approaches, outstanding research infrastructure and years of expertise, the Alfred Wegener Institute explores nearly all aspects of the Earth system – from the atmosphere to the ocean floor. In this regard, initiatives to better grasp the climate-related processes on our planet have increasingly taken centre stage.

Participatin in this project are the departments of "Physical Oceanography" and "Climate Dynamics".

Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon conducts international cutting-edge research for a changing world: approximately 1,100 employees generate knowledge and innovation toward more resilience and sustainability. The Hereon’s scientific spectrum encompasses high-performance materials, processes and environmentally friendly technologies for mobility and new energy systems. Furthermore, research is conducted on biomaterials in medicine and for increasing quality of life. Through research and consulting, the Hereon addresses the challenges of climate change in a solution-oriented manner and facilitates sustainable management as well as the protection of the coasts and marine environment through comprehensive scientific understanding. From fundamental understanding to practical applications – the interdisciplinary research spectrum covers a unique range.

The Hereon is one of eighteen scientific-technical and biological-medical centres comprising the largest German scientific research organisation, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. The participating institute is the Hereon-Institute of Coastal Ocean Dynamics.

Mercator Fellows

Mercator fellowships are a programme funded by DFG and enable intensive, long-term project-based collaboration with visiting Professorships at German Universities. Although Mercator Fellows are on-site for only part of the project, they remain in contact with the project team members once their research stay is over.

For the third phase of the CRC, we include five Mercator fellows, who are world-leading experts in the dynamics of atmosphere and ocean and agreed to join our project as Mercator fellows: 

Prof. Jacques Vanneste (University of Edinburgh)
Prof. Kevin Lamb (University of Waterloo)
Dr. Jean Bidlot (ECMWF)
Copyright: The Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach gGmbH (MFO)
Prof. Rupert Klein (Freie Universität Berlin), Copyright Picture: Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach gGmbH (MFO)
Prof. Øyvind Breivik (University of Bergen)


They collaborate and support our project with their expertise, visiting the CRC locations regularly during the third phase of the CRC. During the research stays, topical courses of the RTG are organized together with the fellows and the early-career scientists, as well as summer schools for CRC and other PhD students with the fellows, e.g. at the historic Swedish research station at the island Bornö.

All participating institutions are proactively dedicated to the implementation of measures aimed at providing a high level of equality to women and men and the improvement of the work-life balance. The TRR 181 contributes to existing programmes and provides further support for its members.

The overall strategy and success of these measures are monitored and evaluated by the Task Group "Gender & Diversity". The task group coordinates the implementation of the measures and develops new concepts to foster gender balance.

All TRR members are encouraged to contact trr-181-gender-diversity[at] with suggestions and feedback regarding gender equality and diversity in the TRR. Suggestions and feedback are discussed in recurring task group meetings open to all TRR members.

The task group's current members are Carsten Eden, Jens Rademacher, Knut Klingbeil, Lea Diederichsen, Maren Walter and Ole Pinner.

Five overarching goals

The TRR 181 focuses on five overarching goals to promote gender equality and diversity:

  1. Increase representation of women on all levels
  2. Promote gender and diversity issues
  3. Foster gender and diversity awareness
  4. Support the compatibility of family and career
  5. Detect shortcomings

Measures for gender equality

To offer workshops tailored to the TRR, we're cooperating with two excellent trainers: Dr. Lisa Horvath and Dr. Sabine Blackmore. They have developed two workshops programmes for the second phase of the TRR (2021-2024):

  1. Gender Awareness Workshops for all TRR members. These interactive workshops take place every year during the TRR Retreat, so that all project leaders, postdocs and PhDs can participate. The goal is to sensitize the scientists in our research project to these issues. Topics of the workshops include 'Implicit Biases' and 'Sexual Harassment'.
  2. Career Development Programme for female scientists. Workshops take place twice a year and cover topics such as 'Academic Career Assessment – Visions, Aims & Perspectives' and 'Gender Equality in Academia'. In addition to these workshops, all female scientists in the TRR can book individual coaching sessions with Lisa and Sabine, paid for by the TRR.

Measures to promote the compatibility of family and professional life

  • Offering child care during TRR events
  • Student assistants for scientists with family obligations
  • Funds for home office equipment for scientists with family obligations

All participating institutions are dedicated to innovative graduate and postgraduate education and career planning. Since 2021, the TRR 181 has its own graduate school, the Research Training Group 'ENERGY', which supports and trains PhD students, Postdocs and early-career Project Leaders of the TRR.


The tasks of the RTG ENERGY are

  • to build the mutual scientific knowledge for early-career scientists and PLs supporting the communication within the CRC,
  • to provide an interdisciplinary PhD training program structured into an intense first-year phase of basic science courses and subsequent advanced courses and workshops on specific CRC-topics,
  • to support the mobility between the different CRC locations and, in particular, extended research visits at international partners,
  • and to foster a team spirit amongst the CRC which transcends the traditional disciplinary boundaries and also the different institutions and locations.

The overall strategy and success of these measures will be monitored and evaluated by the RTG Board. Members of the board are Carsten Eden, Friederike Pollmann, Jens Rademacher and Maren Walter as well as PhD and Postdoc representatives.

Research Stays

Please click here for the reports of the research stays of our early career scientists.